Wednesday, April 24, 2013

4/24/13 Report - British Salvage Camp on Treasure Coast & More on Beach Holes

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

60th Regiment of Foot Button.
Photo from the Worthpoint link below.
You probably know something about the Spanish salvage camps that worked the 1715 Fleet wrecks immediately after the disaster, but did you know that there was also a British salvage camp on the Treasure Coast?

There is a lot of evidence to that fact.  And I am not talking about William Jennings and his gang.

Several British 60th Regiment of Foot buttons were found back in the eighties on the dunes very close to where one of the Spanish salvage camps was located.  In fact right beside an old Spanish salvage camp.

The button shown here is not one of the buttons from the salvage camp, but I am showing it as an example.

It appears that the British salvage or "treasure hunting" camp is from the late 1700s, possibly around 1780.  Besides the buttons many other artifacts, including musket balls, flints etc. were found and indicate the presence of the camp.

Several fellows dug that area back in the eighties, including some that are recognized as amateur or non-vocational archaeologists.

Now the area is covered by a private residence and is off limits.

Back in the late 1700s there were undoubtedly still some remaining signs of the wreckage and the Spanish salvage camps along the beach and also popular knowledge of the earlier events.

Here is a link that will provide a picture of what the British treasure hunters probably looked like and a little history of the 60th Regiment of Foot.   It does not mention what brought them to Florida, although it is known that they served in the Caribbean.

And here is the source of the button photo.

As you might know, two days ago I received a report indicating that Brevard County was going to make it illegal to dig holes on the beach.  That story developed quickly.  The next day I learned through a News 13 article that Cocoa Beach was indeed considering the issue, but that there was already an ordinance that made it illegal to dig holes on Cocoa Beach.  The city was considering "fine-tuning" the ordinances. 

After receiving a link to a current City of Cocoa Beach ordinance from Mitch K., I saw that the current ordinance stated that it was illegal to dig holes on the beach that would endanger people.  That is certainly reasonable enough. 

I suspect that any revision to the ordinance will also be reasonable, but it is good to be informed and involved so that you know what is going on and are able to provide input from the perspective of the metal detecting community.

Although the story developed very quickly as I received various reports and I wanted to get whatever I received out as soon as possible, I wish I would have done a better job.  It kind of reminded me of the way the press dealt with the quickly developing Boston Marathon story and got some things wrong early on.  Of course that is at a totally different level.  Nonetheless, I am sure that most of you are more informed about it now than two days ago and in a better position to act and provide input. 

Below is a link to the existing ordinance that Mitch K. sent me, which Mitch says became effective early in 2012.  Read it for yourself.

If you have a very detailed eye, you might have noticed that the original report that I received referred to Brevard County and the News 13 article and the above link is from the City of Cocoa.  I'm not prepared to elaborate on that now.

My least favorite topic for this blog, even though I get a lot of question about it, is the rules, regulations and laws affecting metal detecting. There are layers on layers and I do not want to be in a position of interpreting, explaining or summarizing what seems to me to be a confusing mess.  Thank goodness most of our officials are very reasonable people. 

I usually advise people with questions about the laws that apply to a specific park or area to ask somebody - sometimes a life guard will be on duty and will be able to tell you, or make a call to a government office.  That is simple enough and usually does the job.

You probably remember back a year or so ago when we had to act to stop legislation proposed for the State of Florida that would have seriously affected the treasure hunting community.  Vigilance and involvement is continually required.

There was one time when I was told by a life guard that detecting was not permitted at a park after I had just walked onto the beach with my metal detector.  I said OK and put my detector away and moved on.  No problem.  When I got home I called the county office and talked to an official to further inquire, and he told me that although detecting was not allowed there, it was about to change and gave me a date for the change.  As a result, I was one of the first to know about the coming change and was one of the first to detect the park after the ban was lifted.  My point is that it paid to ask.

When talking to public officials, make your point as clearly and respectfully as possible.  Present a good image for the hobby. 

Sorry for any confusion, but I thought it was important to put the information I received out there as quickly as possible since I didn't know how quickly things might be done.

It is a beautiful morning on the Treasure Coast.  The waves seem to be coming directly from the east.  The surf is about  3 - 4 feet today and will be about the same for a couple of days, while the wind is predicted to take a more northeasterly direction.

I'm disappointed that the prediction on the surfing web site for Sunday has been changed a little.  It looks like there still might be a brief period of 5 foot and higher surf, but for most of the day Sunday, they are now showing less.

Low tide today is about 1:40 PM, and it looks like the low tide will be a bit lower than it has been lately. 

Anybody have any reports or stories from the Treasure Hunters Cookout?  I know everybody had a good time.

Happy hunting,